More Australians are accessing homelessness services, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, shows that in 2016–17, over 288,000 clients were assisted by specialist homelessness services agencies, a 3% rise in the past year. This equates to about 119 clients per 10,000 people in Australia, up from 117 a year earlier.
Over half of clients (56%) assisted in 2016–17 were currently housed, but at risk of becoming homeless. Most commonly, these clients were living in private housing (as a renter, rent free, or owner, rather than, for example, a social housing tenant).
‘Of those clients at risk of becoming homeless, about 6 in 10 were living in a private dwelling at the time they sought assistance,’ said AIHW spokesperson Matthew James.
Most (85%) of these clients received assistance so they could continue to live in a private dwelling, while 6% of those in private housing were helped into social housing.
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